Apple, Verizon and the Sound of Deflating Balloons

Ever since the rumors cropped up again about Apple and Verizon, I have been thinking about the impact of that deal. I have thought, at various times, that Apple won’t do it because it is a completely different device infrastructure (CDMA instead of the world-standard GSM), that Apple would wait for LTE, the fact that Apple is letting Google catch up by not moving to Verizon, the fact that Verizon’s network can’t handle voice and data at the same time, which is a big deal for Apple and a chief selling point of the iPhone.

And then Marco Arment, creator of Instapaper and lead developer of Tumblr, wrote a great piece on his experiences and thoughts this morning. Spot on, Marco, and thanks for killing my LTE hopes. Hmmm…. now I have no idea if and when Apple will ship iPhone on Verizon but am concerned it won’t happen soon enough. Or maybe Apple’s strategy is to skip the carriers and go straight to VOiP services with multi-tasking on an iPod touch. (But I still think Apple wants Verizon.)

(Hey, I make money from this platform, iOS. I want Apple to sell 3 trillion units per year.)

One thought on “Apple, Verizon and the Sound of Deflating Balloons

  1. I believe that Apple’s original strategy WAS to skip carriers and go straight to VoIP.

    About 20 months before the iPhone was announced, I was at a campground/retreat-style place and having trouble connecting to the camp’s WiFi. Sitting next to me was an intelligent fellow from SF who helped me troubleshoot. We were both using Macs, so of course we chatted, and he told me about… this new thing that no one knew about… called the iPhone.

    I immediately recognized that Apple could make an INCREDIBLE cellphone. (In retrospect, DUH!! But it seemed like an amazing insight at the time, and I paid careful attention.) My acquaintance told me some details, all of which turned out to be correct, months later, except one: he said that the iPhone would — you guessed it — skip carriers and do its calling using VoIP.

    So yes, Elia, Apple would love (at some level) to skip the carriers. And they may yet do so in the future. I know, to everyone reading this post, that this is a rumor, but to me it’s a fact.

    Footnote: Remember the legal controversy about the name iPhone? How Cisco had to be convinced to sell it to Apple, since they already had a device called the iPhone? Of course you remember. Now think… If Apple had indeed decided to make the iPhone primarily a VoIP device, what company would be involved in planning routers and other hardware (and, for all I know, protocols similar to the ones used for FaceTime) to handle those calls? Starts with a C, right? So if Apple had Cisco’s support lined up ahead of time, then stabbed them in the back along the way by dealing with AT&T, wouldn’t they have been upset? Wouldn’t they want to sting Apple in some way? This footnote is 100% speculative, and I’m not a conspiracy-minded kind of guy, but… it sure would make sense.

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